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EUROTRASH Berty Thursday!

A very mixed bag of cycling news in EuroTrash to empty this Thursday and it all starts with Alberto Contador and his nine Grand Tour wins… or not. In other news we hear from Africa from the Momentum 947 Challenge and team Dimension Data, Nairo Quintana in Spain, Alé-Cipollini, SIDI and GF Strade Bianchi from Italy, Optum in the US and from Belgium: Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Lotto Soudal and the Gent 6 Days. Big coffee time.

TOP STORY: Nine GT’s Berty?
In an interview with the English newspaper The Guardian, Alberto Contador stated that: “Without doubt I’ve won nine” when talking about his Grand Tour palmarès. Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia wins due to a positive sample containing clenbuterol during the Tour ’10. He was suspended during the investigation, but was cleared by the Spanish cycling federation and was allowed to race pending a review by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The case was originally to be in June 2011, but was delayed until it was eventually held in February 2012. By this time Contador had won the 2011 Giro d’Italia. CAS decided that Contador was guilty and he was stripped of the results and suspended until 5 August 2012. Apart from the two disputed Grand Tours, he won the Tour de France in 2007 & 2009, Giro d’Italia in 2008 & 2015 and the Vuelta a España in 2008, 2012 & 2014.

Ignoring (and many do) the fact that the amount of clenbuterol was so small that had his sample been tested by any other laboratory it wouldn’t have been found, that he was allowed to race while waiting for the CAS decision (when he won the Giro) and any question of plasticizers is unimportant as the test is not recognized. Ignoring all that, in the end he was found to have broken the rules and was given his judgement and served his suspension. We can’t go against the decision unless there is new evidence.

Alberto Contador is a great champion and if he feels he has won nine Grand Tours, good for him, but the record books will show seven. Sorry Berty.

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Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge – Johannesburg 2015
An incredible performance by Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio saw her overcome various hurdles to win the first ever UCI sanctioned 1.1 race for women in South Africa on Sunday. The Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg took place under near perfect weather conditions.

Moolman-Pasio first encountered a mechanical problem at the start of the event then crashed on a fast descent while part of a dangerous 4 rider breakaway group that had a minute’s advantage. The South African national champion racing at home showed great determination to fight through the adversity with the support from the Bigla Pro Cycling Team.

“It was an incredible day for African cycling,” Moolman-Pasio said. “The first ever UCI 1.1 for women in South Africa and was a great showcase and we have to thank all the sponsors like Momentum for making it possible.” She continued: “It was a bit of a challenge out there. I was quite shocked when I fell. It was a high speed crash. I checked everything was ok and I jumped back on the bike. It was a bit of a blow but my team were absolutely fantastic. The Bigla girls gave everything to support and help me.”

Moolman-Pasio rejoined the peloton after crashing out of the breakaway. The Bigla Pro Cycling Team then hit the front to keep the pressure high. “They chased with absolute heart and put down the pressure on every climb. Sharon Laws set me up on Cedar Hill. She attacked before and was away with two others. I saw her riding away from the two and I saw that was the opportunity to get across to her,” the 29 year old said.

Up the Cedar climb, Moolman-Pasio held a 300 meter advantage then increased it over the top of the climb to hang on solo at the finish with a one minute advantage over Liv-Plantur duo Sabrina Stultiens and Floortje Mackaij who rounded out the podium. The result means Moolman-Pasio will move further up the UCI top ten rankings, becoming the first ever South African to do so.

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio:
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Roger Hammond to join Africa’s Team
Briton will take on role as Sports Director

After announcing a number of new prominent rider and staff additions to our African Team for 2016, we are now delighted to welcome Roger Hammond to our management staff for the upcoming season.

Roger will join Team Dimension Data in 2016, taking on the role as Sport Director. He joins our team after serving as Team Manager at Madison-Genesis since 2012. The Briton also had an illustrious professional career spanning between 1998 and 2011 that saw him specialize as a classics rider.

Roger will be a familiar face to many of our riders and partners after already having worked and ridden with them in the past. Given his Classics experience he will be key to our African teams success during the Spring period.

Roger Hammond – Sports Director
I am very excited to be joining this fantastic project, with so many ex team mates or managers within the team it feels like I’m returning to my family. Cycling has been so influential in the path my life has taken and the rich experiences I have enjoyed along the way. To be part of this project that not only focusses on giving riders the chance to achieve their dreams competitively but – by supporting Qhubeka – also giving children the chance of an education through the medium of the bike was an opportunity not to be missed.

Roger Hammond:
stage 1 Trofeo Criterium Palma de Mallorca

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Quintana, National Sports Award
The Colombian cyclist, who rides for Movistar Team, receives from the Royal couple the award for Best Ibero-American Sportsman of 2014.

Nairo Quintana today added yet another award to the long list of prizes that he has gathered since joining Movistar Team in 2012. At the National Sports Award 2015 ceremony in the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid, Quintana received the Trophy of the Ibero-American Community (Trofeo Comunidad Iberoamericana), from HM the King and HM the Queen of Spain.

The award recognizes the Ibero-American athlete who has been outstanding, throughout the year for his performances in international sporting events, special preference being given to athletes or coaches who are members of Spanish teams or structures, as is the case with Nairo.

“It was a real honor to be able to share the stage with such great athletes, and to shake hands with the King, who I have never had the pleasure of speaking to before today,” Nairo said, speaking from the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, before leaving for his homeland. “As I leave for Colombia, I am delighted with my season, and with this award in recognition of the progress I have made in my career. After a few days of rest, I will start training for the 2016 season, when great challenges await me.”

Nairo Quintana receives the 2014 Ibero-American Trophy from King Felipe VI of Spain:
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Four New Signings Complete 2016 Men’s Roster Huffman, De Vos, Oronte, Kline Join Orange & Black
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies today announces its final men’s roster for the 2016 season, adding four new riders in Evan Huffman, Adam De Vos, Emerson Oronte, and Shane Kline. The quartet will join high-profile signings Danny Pate and Rob Britton to bolster the team’s time trial, climbing, and stage race talent pool.

The new signings are headlined by Huffman, an internationally accomplished time trialist and climber. The El Dorado Hills, CA resident has two junior national titles (2008, 2011) in the time trial to his name, and raced in the WorldTour in ’13 and ’14 with the Astana Pro Team.

“I feel really good about joining the team. I expect we will be extremely competitive across the entire season next year and I’m hoping to be an important part of that,” said Huffman. “I’d like to get back to some more international racing, so I’m really looking forward to the Europe trip the team has planned for the Spring.”

Three more North Americans will join Huffman in Orange & Black: De Vos, an up-and-coming climber hailing from Victoria, British Columbia; Kline, a field sprinter who rode for the Kelly Benefit Strategies team in 2009; and Emerson Oronte, a Boulder, CO based climbing specialist.

“Every year, we try to make improvements to our team and to our business,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “We’ve come a long way since our humble roots. In the past three seasons, we’ve notched stage wins at the Tour of California and Tour of Utah and podiums at the Tour of Alberta and USA Pro Challenge, four of our most important races. We’ve grown accustomed to cracking the top ten overall at those events in the last three seasons, but finishing 2nd overall in Utah this year was an eye opener, and now we will aim even higher. These new signings are designed to take our ability at races with a lot of climbing and big time trials to the next level, and make winning the overall at those a real possibility.”

The team retains the core of its sprinting unit, centered around one of North America’s top fastmen in Eric Young. Tom Soladay, Pierrick Naud, Curtis White and Brad Huff all return to help form a potent and multi-faceted lead-out train. All-rounders Jesse Anthony, Will Routley and Bjørn Selander and time trial specialist Tom Zirbel also return, adding experience and tactical know-how to any potential lineup.

“It was great to retain the core of our program; it’s a group of riders that has worked together to win some huge races in the past few years,” said Carney. “With the amount of new talent we’ve added, our leadout guys and sprinters should be able to focus even more on winning races together, and our all-rounders will have extra firepower to help them get in a position to get a result on race day.”

Performance Director Jonas Carney shares his thoughts on the new signings.

Evan Huffman
“Evan is a big talent that has flown under the radar a bit. His two years in the WorldTour probably came too early in his career, and as a result were pretty uneventful. In the right environment, Evan could take a really huge step towards becoming a real GC contender in North America, and hopefully work his way back to Europe when he’s ready. He showed how well he could climb this year in Colorado and Alberta, and climbing is an area where we need more depth. He’ll add considerable strength in the time trial, especially when you line him up next to Pate, Britton and Zirbel.”

Adam de Vos
“I started watching Adam after his performances at San Dimas and Redlands last year, and was super impressed with how consistent he was throughout the season. A lot of riders will train really hard in the offseason, ride well early, and peter out by June. Adam kept the results rolling from March through U23 Worlds. We like Adam’s aggressive racing style, and how he time trials well for a climber. At just 22 years old, he has a lot of room to improve and we believe he can become another serious GC threat for us.”

Shane Kline
“Shane is a former member of our team who’s coming off a broken femur in 2015. We brought Shane on board to give us another fast sprinter to compliment our already strong group. Eric Young and Shane are good friends and former teammates. It should be a scary when those guys start leading each other out. Shane made a ton of progress in 2014, transitioning from a criterium rider to a road racer. His broken femur this year was a big setback, but he recovered incredibly fast. We are confident in Shane’s ability to race at a high level in 2016.”

Emerson Oronte
“The last two seasons, Emerson has improved his climbing significantly. His elite road race championship in 2014, on a very hard course in Wisconsin, was his first step towards becoming a complete rider. His climbing in San Dimas, Redlands, and the Tour of the Gila last year was impressive. Our team needed more climbing depth, especially at altitude races, and Emerson fills that role perfectly. The team, Diamondback and HED will work with Emerson to help him improve in the TT and make the next progression in his career.”

2016 Final Men’s Roster:
Jesse Anthony | Newbury Park, CA
Rob Britton | Victoria, BC
Adam de Vos | Victoria, BC
Brad Huff | Springfield, MO
Evan Huffman | El Dorado Hills, CA
Shane Kline | Bally, PA
Pierrick Naud | Amos, Quebec
Emerson Oronte | Boulder, CO
Danny Pate | Colorado Springs, CO
Will Routley | Abbotsford, BC
Bjørn Selander | Hudson, WI
Thomas Soladay Glendale, CA
Curtis White Delanson, NY
Eric Young Boulder, CO
Tom Zirbel | Boulder, CO.

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Alé-Cipollini 2016 Roster
The Alé-Cipollini womens team has announced its rider line-up for the 2016 season and a new sponsor, parmesan cheese producer, Parmigiano Reggiano. The team had 20 wins in 2015.

The team line-up for 2016 is:
Martina Alzini, Marta Bastianelli, Francesca Cauz, Annalisa Cucinotta, Emilia Fahlin, Uneia Fernandes, Malgorata Jasinska, Dalia Muccioli, Beatrice Rossato, Ane Satesban, Marta Tagliaferro, Anna Trevisi.

Vargarda women worldcup 2015 TTT

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Up and Coming Young Talent: Nadia Quagliotto
Interview with the 2015 European Womens’ Champion.​

The ranks in the Sidi Sport stables include champions from all over the world, from the North to the South of the globe, from America to Australia passing through the old continent. However, sometimes talents come from home-grown stock, and this is always tremendously satisfying. This is the case of Nadia Quagliotto, the young Italian athlete born in 1997. This year she won the junior category of the Women’s European cycling road championships that took place in Tartu, Estonia, in the month of August. Nadia is 18 and not only does she come from the province of Treviso, she lives right in Maser, the town where Sidi Sport has its main headquarters. Perhaps it’s just coincidence, or perhaps it’s a sign of destiny, but the fact of the matter is that on that day in Tartu Nadia was mixing it up in the thick of the race and then shining on the podium wearing her Sidi shoes.

Nadia, tell us about that victory…
“There were about 4 km to go to the arrival; the other Italian girls and I were very well positioned within the group. The pack at that point was preparing for the final sprint but I decided to go for it. I took off on a counter attack after Russian Karina Kasenova. In the end she and I were head to head for victory in the sprint, with the group catching up to us. I gave it my all and came out ahead. It was my first victory as a junior. It was an immense joy, for me and for the entire Italian team. That day we wanted a success so we could dedicate it to the memory of Chiara Pierobon, and we did it. Thinking about it now still gives me chills.”

Can we consider it the finest victory of your young career?
“Definitely, the most important victory I’ve achieved since I’ve been racing bikes. To win wearing the blue National Italian jersey in a major international competition is fantastic. I hope I still get to experience days like that; in any case, I will always carry the memory of this race inside of me.”

In addition to the European title in the 2015 season, which have been your finest achievements?
“In addition to the European title, in first place I’d have to put the victory at the Italian National Track Championships in Montichiari, in the team pursuit; then there is the experience with the National team at the road racing World Championships in Richmond, in USA, an important experience that contributed a lot to making me grow, mature and learn about great cycling.”

What type of rider is Nadia Quagliotto? What is your favorite terrain?
“Hard to say, definitely one that likes a challenge and that doesn’t let up, that’s for sure! There is still time to grow; anyway let’s just say that I can hang on quite well on climbs and I don’t fall back easily. At the same time I am not a sprinter, but I have good, quick acceleration so in a tight bunch sprint I can hold my own.”

Among the champions in your sport, do you have an idol? Someone you look up to?
“In the women’s field I really like the grit and determination of Giorgia Bronzini, Elisa Longo Borghini and Marianne Vos. They are 3 champions whom I admire a lot. On the other hand, among the men my favorite cyclist is Peter Sagan. I like the way he races and also the way he behaves outside of the races; he is really a great person who does a load of good for our sport.”

It seems to us that you also like track…
“Yes, a lot. I have always tried to develop my track activities along with road riding. Of course, it’s a lot of work between training, races and transfers, but I think it is very useful for me. The track prepares you for the road; and I then I also have fun on the track.”

So you are a pro cyclist but still a student?
“Yes, exactly. I go to the Mazzotti Trade School for Tourism, in Treviso. School is a major commitment, especially from March on, when the season starts getting serious between training and races; but it means a lot to me to finish my higher studies and then we’ll see.”

What are your competitive plans for 2016 and which team will you be riding for?
“In 2016 I’ll be graduating from the juniors to the Elites. I’ll be wearing the jersey for Team Top Girls. I’m very happy to have this opportunity. 2016 will be an important year for me, especially to gain experience and grow. I can’t wait to start the new season!

Any dreams tucked away in a drawer for the future?
“Cycling has always been my great passion. So to be here and to be able to measure myself against the best athletes in the world in the most important races is already a dream come true. I hope that this dream on two tyres continues for as long as possible. I’m going to give it my all!”

Nadia Quagliotto, European Womens’ Champion 2015:
Campionati Europei UEC Strada 2015

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Devriendt and Seynaeve look back upon their debut season
Just like Simone Antonini, Lander Seynaeve and Tom Devriendt started their first pro season in the Wanty-Groupe Gobert blue colors. Devriendt progressed quickly and started no less than three WorldTour-classics including Paris-Roubaix. For Seynaeve 2015 turned into a year with lots of adversity.

“The way of racing is completely different than in the youth and espoirs categories. It is much more controlled,” Seynaeve says. “The speed is higher of course, the racing is much more team oriented, the races are harder and the season is longer. It took some adjustment. Especially having respect for the captains in the team and the peloton is very important,” Devriendt adds.

It was a good debut season for Tom Devriendt. He finished third in the GP Pino Cerami behind Philippe Gilbert and Danny van Poppel. There were top tens in the Tour of Denmark and Eurométropole Tour and he wore the mountain jersey in the Tour of Luxembourg.

“I am also very proud of Paris-Roubaix,” he adds. “That I managed to finish such a monumental classic, is a great result. I never thought I could do that.”

Lander Seynaeve imagined his debut year to be different. The first months became a struggle against a virus and against himself.

“It was mentally very tough because I haven’t been able to ride for a long time. I was in a very bad place. It all started in December and I should have listened to my body better but I wanted to prove myself. Then your body says stop and you are forced to take a break.”

It was not all bad in 2015 for the youngest rider of the team. “The feeling we had as a team in the Tour of Turkey was wonderful. Furthermore the Tour of Gabon really made a profound impression on me. It changed me as a person. We have everything here and they have nothing.”

The two riders from West-Flanders start their second pro season next year. “I hope to finish races easily like I did at the end of this season. I hope to do my job for the team,” Seynaeve looks ahead. “I also want to try to be in breakaways to get publicity for Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Maybe I can have a result for myself but I mostly hope to do my job.”

Devriendt would like to win a race next season. “I hope to do a good Spring campaign where I can show myself and do my job for the team. My contract ends next season but I that shouldn’t bother me too much. If I look at the sort of race I would like to win I think of a stage in a stage race. Whatever it is, I will be very happy if I do manage to win something!”

Tom Devriendt in Paris-Roubaix):
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Gran Fondo Strade Bianche on 6 March 2016 – Cycling and Fun Among the Crete Senesi
Start (Medicean Fortress) and finish (Piazza del Campo) are both in the city of Siena, Unesco World Heritage Site. The event will cross the unique scenery of the Crete Senesi with a long course of 122km, identical to the Women Elite’s WorldTour race of the previous day, facing parts of the men’s professional race.

Entries are open on www.gfstradebianche.it

122km, seven sectors and 22.4km of gravel roads feature in the unique scenery of the Crete Senesi, starting and finishing among the art beauties of Siena, UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the stunning menu that RCS Sport and RCS Active Team, in collaboration with Comune di Siena and the local associations, have prepared for all the cyclists on Sunday 6 March on the long course of the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche. For who would like to “taste” the medium route, the course will be 83.5km long, six sectors and 19.1km of gravel roads. Other than cycling the Gran Fondo, cyclists and fans will have the chance to spend a whole weekend of great cycling, culture and good food. The previous day, Saturday 5 March, the professional men’s and women’s Strade Bianche races will be held.

ENTRIES, PARTICIPATION COSTS AND INFO
Entries are open on www.gfstradebianche.it

Costs: from today until 29 November €35,00; from 30 November until 31 January 2016 €45,00; from 1 to 28 February €50,00, from then before the race €65,00.

This fee is for a single entry including a personalized bib, race bag, mechanical assistance (without spares), medical assistance in the race, feeding stations, broom wagon service and the final pasta party.

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THE COURSES

Long route
It is the same of the professional Women Élite race. A twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but with punchy hills, in particular on the unpaved parts. There are roughly 22km of gravel roads, in seven sectors, many of them shared with the men’s race.

Starting from Siena (Stadium/Medicean Fortress area), the first undulating kilometers are on tarmac before reaching the first 2.1km gravel sector at km 11, which is perfectly straight and always slightly uphill. Then we’re soon at the first hill of the day, the Passo del Rospatoio (paved, roughly 5km at 5%). The race will then go through Murlo, followed by one of its classic gravel sectors (5.5km, featuring in the course since the first edition of the men’s race) with no significant gradient and leading to Buonconvento.

After the passage through Buonconvento the feed station will be positioned in the area of Ponte d’Arbia before reaching Monteroni d’Arbia which mark the beginning of the following gravel sector of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It’s a long sector with continuous up and downs in the first part, to end up with a twisting climb before entering again on the tarmac. After that starts a paved section with no particular difficulties until the village of Guistrigona, where a short 1km gravel sector joins back to the classic men’s course with its demanding and challenging finale.

After Castelnuovo Berardenga there’s a very short, flat section of gravel (300m), before facing, after Monteaperti, the seventh sector which is only 800m long, but with a double digit gradient ramp before rejoining the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and going to paved road through Pieve a Bozzone. Next comes the penultimate sector (2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto (with inclination up to 15%). After a few kilometers the riders will face the last sector (1.1km) which features a sequence of a demanding descent followed by a very punchy climb (max 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

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Medium route
The course is the same up until Murlo, where it turns right with a gravel sector 4.9km long, followed by a descent to Monteroni d’Arbia. From here the course goes to Isola d’Arbia to face a following gravel sector of 6.4km (challenging but without hard climbs) that takes to Presciano, where a 2.2km sector links to the long route. From that point the final 23km are in common.

Final Kilometers
The demanding final kilometers, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descending, and then climbing slightly. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda, where the gradient touches 9%.

900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its highpoint of 16% in Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself is flat.

Strade Bianche - L'Eroica

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Custom-made earphones by Valier
Since May 2012 Thierry De Ridder, audiologist and manufacturer of earpieces, is a partner of the team. His company, Valier, produces customized earphones and earplugs for the riders and sports directors. Also next season, he will make sure that everyone has a perfect customized earphone.

Thierry De Ridder, Valier: “I also like to cycle and during these rides, I usually listen to music with my phone. A standard earphone which came with my mobile wasn’t working well and always jumped out of my ears. Because of that, I got the idea to make an earphone myself, fully customized so I could listen to music during cycling without having these problems. That earphone was so comfortable that I decided to put it on the market. I contacted the WorldTour teams and presented them my customized earphones. In the spring of 2012, the former Lotto Belisol team called me to make an appointment. After the talk with Marc Sergeant and Herman Frison, they gave me the opportunity to make customized earphones for the nine riders who would ride the Giro d’Italia of 2012. The riders really liked the earphones and it got the ball rolling.”

“I’m doing the production of these earphones all by myself. During the team day at 14th of October, I took samples of the riders’ ears. By putting some kind of paste into their ear, you get a perfect print. Back at my office, I edit a standard model to get the perfect copy of the sample. After a week, the earphones are ready to use.”

“New are the earphones for the sports directors. These earphones are also customized and function with voice recognition. When you receive a call, a beep sound goes off and you can pick up handsfree. This is very useful for the sports directors in the team car, so they have their both hands available at all times. For a rider, a good earphone is a necessity. Nothing is worse than riding your bike for five hours and deal with a loose earphone during the whole ride. Don’t forget: good communication is the key to success!”

If you want to read more about Valier and the customized earphones, have a look at the website (www.valier.be) or the Facebook page “Valier Audicien”.

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Africa’s Premier Cycling Team signs sponsorship agreement with Sapinda Holding B.V.
Africa’s Team, which will be known as Team Dimension Data from 2016, announces today that it has signed a sponsorship deal with Sapinda Holding B.V., a global investment company with significant assets in Africa, as the third major partner for 2016.

Africa’s premier professional cycling team has raced under the banner of Team MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung for the last three seasons but recently announced that Dimension Data would take over as title partner and Deloitte joins as a gold partner.

Lars Windhorst, Chairman of the Board of Sapinda Holding B.V., commented “Sapinda is proud to be partnering with Team Dimension Data, Africa’s leading pro cycling team. We share with them a commitment to enhancing Africa’s presence on the world stage and providing a positive impact in the African communities in which we are invested. We look forward to helping them achieve another year of cycling success in 2016.”

The Sapinda Holding logo will be visible on the rider’s jersey and shorts and the Team buses, trucks and cars. Sapinda Holding concentrates on special situation investment opportunities across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. With the team‘s focus on developing cycling in Africa as well as raising global awareness for Qhubeka this partnership is a perfect fit and will allow us to further invest into our development program.

Sapinda have a history of partnering with developmental sport programs, like the Scuderia Torro Rosso Formula 1 team among others. Sapinda sees this partnership with Africa’s premier cycling team as a significantly relevant platform to build deeper relationships and enhance its focus on African communities.

Sapinda Holding B.V. is registered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, while its largest office is located in London. The group has offices across Europe, Africa and Asia, including London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Moscow and Hong Kong, and employs a large team of professionals in management, back office and execution functions.

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
We are incredibly excited to have Sapinda become a sponsor and partner of our team. Their investment enables us to strengthen the development of African cycling and support of the Qhubeka charity. Thanks to partners like Sapinda we have been able to showcase the potential that exists in cycling on the African continent. We share the same visions about mobilizing people in Africa and we look forward to accelerating our collective ambitions through this partnership.

The team made history this year as the first African registered cycling team to compete in the Tour de France. The team’s tremendous successes in the race included:

· Wearing the prestigious King of the Mountain jersey for four days on the shoulders of Eritrean rider, Daniel Teklehaimanot – the first African rider to do so
· Stephen Cummings winning the 14th stage on Mandela Day
· Team finishing in fifth place overall in the Team competition
· Raising over 4,000 bicycles in their #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.

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The Gent ‘6 Days’
The best ‘6 Days’ on the calendar has started. Gent has everything, drink, music and bike racing, here is a report from day 1 (in Flemish):


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